IMG_2513Darra Goldstein gave a fascinating talk on the history of Nordic foods, and the ways in which the current explosion of interest and innovation in Scandinavian food ways is related to the past, but also completely new.

She discussed the importance of preserved fruits, fermented and smoked fish and all things pickled in Nordic tradition and how these foods come out of a cultural adaptation to harsh climate, a short growing season, and episodes of famine.

The important role of foraging in the Nordic tradition, born of necessity in times of hunger, and the irony of foraged foods central role today in the wildly popular dishes created by contemporary artists of Nordic cuisine, was her final, and ironic example of how how current tastes in Scandinavia have evolved to reflect each country’s culture and the rich culinary traditions of the region.

Samples of dishes made from recipes in Darra’s book, Fire + Ice, Classic Nordic Cooking were served, including Beet Tartare, Barley Salad and Raspberry Grottoes.